How Our Natural Dog Chews Are Made
We want to be completely transparent about every step your ugly chew takes. This page is for the true researcher that wants to know everything we do, why we do it, and what it means for your pet.
It All Starts With Local Ranchers and Cows
At the moment all of our products are beef, primarily because Wyoming has a lot of cows. Most of our cows are raised on small family farms in southwest Wyoming. No factory farms here. The meat from these cows goes to local restaurants and family freezers. We’ve partnered with three butchers to take the hides, ears, and trachea to make dog chews. We pick them up each day to make sure that they stay fresh, and transport them to our facility, which is less than 30 minutes away from each butcher.
Cleaning Them Up
Some other dog chew manufacturers keep their hides fresh by soaking them in salt or lime or bleach. We always knew that wasn’t what we wanted to be. We want to keep our chews as clean and natural as possible, which is why we take them immediately from the butcher to cleaning. There are two important parts of the cleaning process: washing and fleshing. Fleshing is the removal of excess fat and meat from the hide. One reason we flesh the hides is for caloric impact. If we left meat and fat on the hides, they could easily be several hundred calories each, which makes them incredibly unhealthy for a simple chew. The main reason is because both meat and fat will spoil and go rancid without some form of preservative, and we don’t want your dog to get sick. Washing, is of course used to clean the hides. These are cows that graze mountain pastures, so their hides often carry dirt, grass, leaves, manure, etc that needs thoroughly washed.
We don’t use any chemicals or soaps in our washing or fleshing. We just use water at various pressures and angles for a long time to make sure the hides are left fresh and clean, ready to be transformed into chews.
Cutting, Forming, and Drying
Once the hides are all clean, they are hand cut (using a knife!) into approximately 4, 8, and 12 inch strips. Technically we cut them a little longer than that to account for the size they lose when they dry. Then they are rolled and put out onto racks in the direct sunlight to dry. This step is super important, because we want to keep our dog chews additive and chemical free. But we also don’t want your dog to get salmonella or e.coli or some other nasty bacteria. Luckily, studies have shown that direct exposure to the UV radiation in sunlight kills these bacteria. Each chew spends at least three days in direct sunlight, being rotated to make sure the entire chew is disinfected and dried. While this process is time-consuming, it allows us to create an all-natural chew without any chemicals, additives, or preservatives, while still providing a near infinite shelf-life to the final product.
Delivering Them To You!
This was a remarkably difficult challenge for us to overcome. We wanted to be able to ship chews to every state, but this whole thing started because we wanted to save good hides from the landfill. It didn’t make much sense to save the hides from being wasted just end up wasting a bunch of plastic, styrofoam, and cardboard instead. We wanted to keep our commitment to being a zero-waste, natural option. Luckily, we were able to find a package supplier that provides 100% biodegradable, compostable packaging. The box you receive will be pretty simple. It won’t be filled with a bunch of promotional flyers or packing material. Just a big pile of dog chews.
We’re pretty proud of this, because pet treat regulations make it surprisingly difficult to do. But regardless of how you feel about politics or climate change or environmentalism, I think we can all agree that dumping a little less plastic in the oceans is a win for everyone. We like dogs, but we like sea turtles too.